Analysis: Morales-Pacquiao

12.03.05 - By Darrell La Montre: The upcoming fight between Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (39-2-2, 31 ko’s) and Erik “El Terrible” Morales (47-2, 34 ko’s) has the potential to be a war. It may not be a pugilistic Vietnam, but it could be quite a donnybrook. A lot depends on Morales, and whether he elects to box or brawl the Filipino firecracker. In my opinion, it would be almost suicidal for Morales to fight Pacquiao the same way he fought Barrera.. Why brawl with him when you are the superior boxer? Well, because Morales is a traditional Mexican fighter, and my money is on him staying true to his roots. I think he will box at times, but I think the constant, suffocating pressure from Manny, along with his natural proclivity towards brawling will be the contributing factors towards Morales going toe-to-toe with him.

After having seen Pacquiao spar a couple of weeks ago at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, CA, I’ve come to the conclusion that if Morales fights a smart fight he can win. Pacquiao has great speed, power, is very fleet footed, and has great stamina, however, he has a terrible habit of dropping his left hand when he’s backing away from his opponent. I witnessed on many occasions, B-B+ level sparring partners nail him with flush counter right hands above his low left glove.

As it is, southpaws are vulnerable to being hit with straight rights given the geometrical factor. Dropping your left only further increases the chances of being countered. If B level sparring partners can nail him with counter rights, you better believe Morales will. The question is, will Morales last the full 12 rounds and fight a smart fight? Will he fight the kind of fight that would grant him the greatest chance of being victorious?

Morales has the height and reach on Pacquiao, but much like a young Tyson, Pacquiao compensates for his diminutive size by possessing an amazing combination of speed and power. Morales has never fought an opponent with the kind of speed and power that Manny possesses. He is going to be in for a rude awakening. Morales is a great fighter, and this is certainly a winnable fight for him.

For Morales to win, he has to pump his jab and not allow Manny to get inside and throw his lightning quick, vicious combos. He has to smother Manny and get his respect early. He must not allow himself to get into an out war with Pacquaio. It’s okay to brawl in spurts, but to fight him the way he fought Barerra would be moronic. He must take advantage of Pacquiao’s habit of dropping his left.

My prediction for this fight is that if it goes the distance, it will either be a decision for Morales, or a draw. The fight going the distance would mean that Erik fought a smart fight and mostly boxed Manny. If it ends inside the distance, it will be Pacquiao by mid to later rounds stoppage.

If Morales mostly boxes, this could be a good fight to bet that it ends in a draw (usually you can get 20-1 odds on a draw bet). If Morales boxes the whole fight, and keeps Pacquiao at bey, he’ll win 8 rounds to 4. If Morales brawls more than he boxes, he will either lose on points or get stopped. Again, a lot of it depends on Morales and how he chooses to fight. My gut is that Pacquaio will stop him.

Article posted on 12.03.2005

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